2002-03Top 16Round 4
March 26, 2003 CET: 00:00
Local time: 00:00 BASKETBALL CENTER DRAZEN PETROVIC

Only two games are left in the Top 16, but the Group D race for the Final Four became a whole lot tighter following Cibona's 82-75 overtime win against visiting Efes Pilsen in Zagreb on Wednesday. Slaven Rimac exploded for 32 points, including 5 in a row in the extra period, to send Cibona to its second consecutive victory, both at home. It was the first loss for Efes and the first overtime game in the Top 16. It also threw open Group D to the team that rises to the challenge of the final two games. Efes is now 3-1 and tied for first place with CSKA Moscow, a winner over Unicaja earlier Wednesday. Cibona is 2-2 and in third place. Each team has one home game left. Cibona once again proved Drazen Petrovic Arena to be one of the toughest places to win by jumping ahead of Efes early and holding on despite some late mistakes in regulation time. Rimac's shooting helped offset a 29-44 rebounding advantage for Efes. Rimac hit all 5 of his three-piont shots, 7 of 11 two-poiners and 3 of 3 free throws. Rimac was followed in the scoring column by big men Niksa Prkacin and Haris Mujezinovic with 16 points each, while newcomer Darren McLinton added 10. For Efes, Antonio Granger picked up 14 points, Marcus Brown and Kaspars Kambala 13 each, Jurica Golemac and Kaya Peker 10 each.

Cibona had a game plan, and it turned out to be perfect: Limit Brown and Kambala, the main guns for Efes all season long. Cibona did a great job of executing that plan in the first half. Brown, who torched Cibona with 24 points in Istanbul, scored only 2 in the first 20 minutes. Kambala could add only 4 points. Cibona was leading for the most of the game but never by more than 9 points. Cibona led 56-48 with 29 seconds left in the third quarter when Granger hit a basket and then, following a steal, Kerem Tunceri dropped a buzzer-beater to cut the lead to 56-53. Efes added the first 4 points of the final quarter to lead 56-57. But that was the last lead for the guests. Prkacin made 6 straight points to regain put Cibona back ahead, 62-58. Rimac soon made it 67-61, but Efes got close once again. Kambala rebounded a missed free throw by Golemmac to pull the visitors within 2 points. Cibona lost the ball and Prkacin fouled Kambala with 5 seconds to go. Since Kambala was unable to take the free throws, Brown as a substuitute made both, and Tomo Ruzic missed a layup that would have given Cibona the win.

Overtime was a one-way street. McLinton scored from downtown to start it, then Rimac and Mujezinovic added their shots. It was too much for Efes. To make the win sweeter, Rimac made the final two-point shot for 82-75. As it turned out, the layup Ruzic missed at the end of regulation time ended up benefitting Cibona. Due to the final seven-point margin, Cibona now owns a one-point direct tiebreak advantage over Efes, who won their first game in Istanbul by just 6 points. But for the fans in Zagreb, the important thing was that Cibona was still in the hunt for the Final Four. They were already looking forward to the final home game, when CSKA visits town.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003
Neven Berticevic, Sportske Novosti, Zagreb
No results found.
Referees: BRAZAUSKAS, ROMUALDAS; DORIZON, PASCAL; HESSE, MARCUS
Attendance: 4000
By Quarter1234Extra 1
Cibona VIP1920171115
Efes Pilsen191420148
End of Quarter1234Extra 1
Cibona VIP1939566782
Efes Pilsen1933536775
Cibona VIP
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 KRUNIC, DARKO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
5 KUS, DAVOR 18:00 2 1/1       1 1     2     4   -3
6 RIMAC, SLAVEN 38:00 32 7/11 5/5 3/3 2 3 5 3   1 1   2 4 38
7 KRASIC, BARISA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 PRKACIN, NIKOLA 30:00 16 6/9 0/1 4/5   5 5 3 4 7 1   5 6 18
9 MUJEZINOVIC, HARIS 37:00 16 3/5 2/6 4/6 2 5 7   2 2     3 5 17
10 PLANINIC, ZORAN 32:00 3   1/5     3 3 4 3 1     2   6
11 STIMAC, ANDREJ 19:00 3   1/2     1 1 2 1       1   5
12 MANCE, MARIJAN 20:00   0/3 0/1     2 2 2       1 1   -2
14 RUZIC, TOMISLAV 4:00   0/2     1   1   1            
15 ALIHODZIC, DZEVAD DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
20 MCLINTON, DARREN 27:00 10 2/4 2/6     2 2 2 2 2   1   1 8
Team           1 1 2   1           3
Totals 225:00 82 19/35 11/26 11/14 6 23 29 16 14 15 2 2 18 16 90
        54.3% 42.3% 78.6%
Head coach: PETROVIC, ALEKSANDR
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Efes Pilsen
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 ARSLAN, ENDER 7:00     0/1   1 1 2 1 2 1         3
5 BROWN, MARCUS 26:00 13 4/7 1/6 2/2 2 2 4 2   3     2 4 10
6 ONAN, OMER 4:00   0/1 0/1                       -2
7 GRANGER, ANTONIO 39:00 14 2/3 3/8 1/2 5 5 10 1 1 4 1   2 1 15
8 EKMEN, ENVER DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
10 TUNCERI, KEREM 38:00 6 1/3 1/7 1/2   3 3 5         1 3 7
12 GOLEMAC, JURICA 24:00 10 4/4 0/2 2/3 1 3 4 2 2 1 1   1 2 16
13 PASTAL, VALENTIN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
14 PEKER, KAYA 18:00 10 5/12     2 1 3 1 1 1     2   5
15 KAMBALA, KASPARS 30:00 13 6/6   1/1 3 3 6 1 3 4     3 4 20
19 PARS, ASIM 15:00 5 2/3   1/2 1 3 4     1   1 3 3 5
20 YILMAZ, ALPER 24:00 4   1/5 1/2 3 3 6   2 3   1 2 1 2
Team             2 2               2
Totals 225:00 75 24/39 6/30 9/14 18 26 44 13 11 18 2 2 16 18 83
        61.5% 20% 64.3%
Head coach: MAHMUTI, OKTAY

Head Coaches

PETROVIC, ALEKSANDAR
Cibona VIP
"This one is for the players, my players made it possible. We had a chance to win before overtime, but Tomo Ruzic did not make a layup. I was praying for a two-pont win, but it turned out for the better. Winning by seven. Great overtime, great effort from my team. I only hope that Cibona will go on, win in Malaga, and make a run for the Final Four against CSKA at home. Slaven Rimac was our man, brilliant in offense, but he also showed that he can play defense."
MAHMUTI, OKTAY
Efes Pilsen
"No suprises, we knew what to expect in Zagreb. We played the catching game most of the match, came up with the goods, but made too many mistakes. And too many turnovers, but we never made that this season. Also, we missed to many open chanches."

Players

RIMAC, SLAVEN
Cibona VIP
"We showed some character tonight. Leading by 6 points with one minute to go having to play overtime. The best thing that happened to us. Great game, great win under hard, hard circumstances."
RUZIC, TOMISLAV
Cibona VIP
"My fault at the end of the game, terrible miss on a layup. Thanks to my teammates, they bailed me out in overtime."
KAMBALA, KASPARS
Efes Pilsen
"Prkacin fouled me, 5 seconds before the end and it was intentional, but it was not called. We lost because we had a poor shooting night. The worst of the season. We made only 6 of 30 three-point shots, terrible."
PARS, ASIM
Efes Pilsen
"The only thing we did better was rebounding. It's a tough loss, but Cibona was better on the night."